GOP: Next time, skip yacht candidates

While the re-election of Gov. Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic majorities in the General Assembly may have resulted mainly from the awful campaign of the Republican nominee for governor, Tom Foley, whose election it was his to lose, it nevertheless is the crowning triumph for Connecticut's government and welfare classes.

Malloy not only imposed the biggest tax increase in the state's history; he did so despite his assurance as a candidate that raising taxes would be the "last thing" he would do. But retribution for this was more than offset by Foley's grave personal drawbacks, exploited by the Democratic attack ads - his business controversies, wealth, and tax breaks - and by his blithe ignorance of government, recklessness, inarticulateness, and pandering, starting with his pathetic delusion that he could outbid the governor for the votes of government employees.

The Democratic victory, having been achieved despite the state's continuing economic decline, suggests that there never again may be any political limits on government here - that government now can do anything and get away with anything, as it has been doing.

But there can be no blaming the Democrats for this any more than sharks can be blamed for being carnivorous.

The party is frankly the party of insatiable government.

Indeed, the governor's campaign claimed to have 10,000 volunteers working to mobilize Democratic votes on Election Day. If tradition was followed, most of these volunteers were state and municipal government employees using one of their many discretionary paid holidays to kick back to the regime at the behest of their unions, the dominant force in the party.

No, the blame falls on Connecticut's Republican Party for failing to present a credible opposition. The Republicans have bestowed their last four major nominations - two for U.S. senator and two for governor - on wealthy dilettantes with no record in public life, just embarrassing baggage, including lewdly named yachts, though experienced candidates with long records of success were available.

If in four years there's anything left of Connecticut besides government and its dependents, from corporate welfare to welfare for mothers without husbands, the opposition might seek a candidate who does not own a yacht. There must be somebody without one.

Baseball not ballots

Last month Hartford's City Council voted to spend $350 million to build a minor-league baseball stadium and develop a vacant area north of downtown, a project that even its advocates acknowledge is a gamble. But on Tuesday voting at many polling places in Hartford was delayed by an hour or more because voter lists had not been delivered. For a while even Gov.Malloy and Secretary of the State Denise Merrill were prevented from voting.

Hartford's Democratic registrar of voters blamed cuts to her office's budget, and maybe there was something to it, since public services in Hartford and throughout the state long have been cannibalized to finance increases in government employee compensation.

But the secretary of the state's office wondered why, if the city had been falling so far behind in preparing for the election, no alarm had been sent. Help might have been made available.

While Democrats nationally scream that Republicans are trying to suppress voter participation with proposals to require voters to present reliable identification, in Connecticut the worst hindrances to voter participation occur in cities the Democratic Party controls.

In the election for governor four years ago the big problem was in Bridgeport, which didn't print enough ballots, prompting a court order keeping the city's polling places open an extra hour before the big Democratic plurality was counted.

On Tuesday the Democratic Party obtained a similar court order in Hartford, raising suspicion that these errors are not accidental but purposeful - to mobilize both belated and illegal votes in heavily Democratic districts, Hartford being, like New Haven, a self-proclaimed "sanctuary city."

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